Steve Rowe's Blog

Ruminations on Computing - Programming, Test Development, Management and More

July, 2007

Posts
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Using a Sunrocket Gizmo with ViaTalk

    • 9 Comments
    If you happen to have found this page as a former Sunrocket customer, here is a way you can get a phone up and running quickly. One potential VOIP provider you can use is Viatalk . This is the one I chose. Sign up for BYOD service. Wait unil you get your...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Are Design Patterns A Bad Idea?

    • 7 Comments
    Jeff Atwood has some issues with the idea of Design Patterns. His issues are basically: People use design patterns when they could use a simpler solution. Recurring patterns indicate a place where the language is weak. Read his post for the...
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    How To Automate UI Testing

    • 1 Comments
    Most software has a user interface. That means that most test teams spend time testing that interface. The easiest way to do this is to just click on all the buttons and make sure the right thing happens. This works, but it doesn't scale. Eventually you...
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    The Three Stonecutters

    • 4 Comments
    Lots of interesting quotes in Dreaming in Code. This one is the story of three stonecutters. Each is asked what he is doing. The first answers that he is, "making a living wage." The second says, "I am doing the best job of cutting stones in the entire...
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    Keep Your BVTs Clean

    • 10 Comments
    At Microsoft we build each of our products on a daily basis. After each successful build, we run a series of automated tests we tend to call BVTs (Build Verification Tests). If the BVTs fail, no one further testing is done and developers are called in...
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    Clarity: The Most Important Management Deliverable?

    • 5 Comments
    During my week-long management training class, I observed something worth sharing. One of the most important things a manager needs to provide to his (or her) team is clarity. It is important that you give precise instructions. If asked for details, it...
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    We Owe It All To Smalltalk

    • 4 Comments
    The more I learn about Smalltalk, the more I realize what a foundational language it was. I'm not convinced it it a language that really deserves widespread use today. Newer languages have improved upon most of its features in one way or another. However...
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    Yak Shaving

    • 2 Comments
    (Last post inspired by Dreaming in code...I think) There is a problem in building software. We don't know how to estimate how long it will take to build something. A 2-week project takes 4. A one month project takes six. Why is that? There are a lot of...
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    Don't Build for the Future

    • 7 Comments
    Toward the end of Dreaming in Code, there is this quote from Mitch Kapor: We've constantly over-invested in infrastructure and design, the fruits of which won't be realized in the next development cycle or even two--that is, not in the next six or twelve...
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    What To Test When You Can't Test It All

    • 1 Comments
    A naive approach to testing is to just cover everything. I once saw a testing expert claim something like: "We figured out that all bugs occur in state transitions, so if we just test all of the state transitions, we'll find all of the bugs." Fascinating...
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    Bye Bye Sunrocket

    • 10 Comments
    Sunrocket was my phone company...until today. This evening I looked at TechMeme to see what was new in the world only to run into this post at GigaOm. Check the web site. Everything looks fine. Check the phone. No dial tone. Bummer. Look around a little...
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    Too Many Questions

    • 1 Comments
    Or: Guidelines for dealing with a newbie. If you are an experienced programmer or a manager, the chances are that you've had to deal with a new hire (or intern) who asks lots of questions. No matter who you are, you likely were that annoying newbie at...
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    1337 H4x0rz Use Media Center Keyboards

    • 2 Comments
    I saw Live Free or Die Hard yesterday. It's a story that involves, among other things, computer hackers. Kevin Smith makes an appearance in the movie as an elite hacker. It was interesting to see that his preferred input device was a Microsoft Media Center...
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    Avoid 3-Card Combinations

    • 2 Comments
    I used to play collectible card games. I attended Whitman College during Richard Garfield 's tenure there as a math professor so I got into Magic: The Gathering near its inception. For those of you who don't play these, the basic system goes something...
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    Hofstadter's Law

    • 0 Comments
    Good advice for all project managers. Hofstadter's Law : It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Failure by Committee

    • 1 Comments
    I'm reading Dreaming in Code and it's occurring to me at least one of the reasons that Chandler failed. Chandler, if you don't know, is the Personal Information Manager application that is the subject of the book. In my mind, Chandler failed because they...
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    Dreaming In Code

    • 0 Comments
    I finally finished Dreaming in Code by Scott Rosenberg. It was initially hailed as the Soul of a New Machine for a new generation. As such, it fails. Its depiction of the process and the characters involved is just not that compelling. It's not poorly...
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    More Resources For Teaching Children To Program

    • 2 Comments
    As I've stated before , I have a young son who I have been trying on and off to teach to program. I still owe you a post talking about what I've found does and does not work. In the mean time, I ran across this article which give several good resources...
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    Don't Change Code Unless It's Broken

    • 3 Comments
    This came up recently on my team. When making changes to pre-existing code, it is tempting to bring the code in line with our personal tastes. If we like Allman style braces, we'll change the code away from K&R bracing. If we don't like Hungarian...
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    Back From the Cruise

    • 0 Comments
    My family and I went on an Alaskan cruise last week. It was my first cruise. I liked it. There is a lot you can do on a ship during a cruise. There is a casino, Broadway-style shows, art auctions, night clubs, various games (like trivia), and much more...
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    Cruising To Alaska

    • 0 Comments
    I'm headed off on a cruise to Alaska for about a week. Don't expect to see much blogging going on during that time. I have been having a lot of inspirations for post topics lately (can you tell?) so expect some good stuff when I return.
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